Sunday, August 7, 2011
Priest Scandal - what is the truth here?
There are two sides of the story of the so priest scandal but we only hear one side. The media emphasizes the cases (most of which happened years ago) of priests, statistically less than 1 percent of Catholic priests have been accused of this) ignoring that as high as 50% of abortionists may have also abused those who trusted them as well as the 20% of public school teachers and countless coaches also accused. Govt statistics tell us that most se/xual abuse happens in the home (75% percent of it) by step fathers and uncles etc.
Se/xual molestation is a definite problem in our society and will continue to be a problem if we only address the 1% of those priests thusly accused, closing our eyes to the overwhelming majority of abuse which has nothing to do with priests. (I also was se/xually molested, 4 times. By my violin teacher when I was 12 years old, by a guy my mother matched me up with when I was 19 who only didn't ra/pe me by the Grace of God and my own quick thinking, by a sports coach when I was in my 30's and by a doctor I had met socially who examined my sore leg in the swimming pool and proceeded to "cop a feel"!)
That being said, when this all came up, being a Roman Catholic myself, I was curious to do some investigating to see how bad things were or were not.
I first started with the town I live in, one of the 10 largest cities in the USA.
In my area, there are 5 priests accused over the past 30 years (this was before another one recently got accused - he quit the priesthood and the Catholic church, and started his own congregation before they could prosecute him). Ok, 2 of them were defrocked, 1 of them had fled to Ireland, 1 of them was dead and 1 was currently in prison. The Bishop had acted quickly on all the cases.
Conclusion, it was not true in my diocese that anything had been "covered up". On the contrary.
But what about the priest in Boston who started the firestorm? Curious about this, I researched him on the S.N.A.P. website. They have all the PDFs of the case there and SNAP is a group of victims who are very antiCatholic. I thought it was a good place to start the research - certainly no one can accuse them of covering anything up or being biased in favor of the Catholic church.
Where I expected to find something awful, I was actually quite surprised at what I uncovered on the SNAP site!
The priest in Boston had had complaints against him for a handful of boys but when the Cardinal went to investigate, he found that the priest was well liked in his parish and that even the parents of the kids who had complained, did not uphold the testimonies of their own kids! The cardinal's hands were tied. The priest, of course, lied through his teeth but the sad thing was, the people of his parish UPHELD HIM.
Ironically, the way the cardinal ended up discovering the truth, was that he was doing a "one on one" with all priests and when he got to this priest and had lunch with him, he realized immediately, that the priest was likely guilty! The Cardinal went home from that luncheon and started proceedings to defrock the priest! It should be noted that when he fired that priest from his parish, the people of the parish staged a major demonstration against the Cardinal! None of this made the news of course. :(
Quite different from the way the media or movies like "Our Fathers" portray it, isn't it?
Bottom line, He who started our church, Jesus, was crucified as a common criminal and He was perfect. Certainly our priests and cardinals and even strong Christians cannot expect otherwise.
That is, if Jesus rode to Heaven on a cross, should we expect to ride there in a plush lined Cadillac? Can we expect to be "popular" in a society which was capable of crucifying God incarnate?
And - please understand - the media does (as Stephen King put it) go for the "gross-out" even if it means um...bending the truth. Media information should not what anyone should be making decisions based on - it should carry a disclaimer of "for entertainment only - any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental!"